I have yet to discover the secret to success, but I do know that being organized helps. And when you’re a full time mom running a full time (or part time) business, you have to be productive during your limited window of opportunity to work. That’s easier said than done when you have a thousand ideas running through your head, a million things on your to-do list and a love-hate relationship with technology.
I’m not exactly an early adopter when it comes to tools and technology. It takes me a while to try something new. And even then, I spend too much time testing and playing with tools I end up abandoning. But there are several tools that have stood the test of time for me and I’d like to share them with you.
Here are five of my favorite tools that I use every single day. I love them so much that I would pay for them. But I don‘t have too, because they’re free (yeah!). Your business is probably very different from mine, but I suspect you’ll fall in love with at least one of these tools!
1. Dropbox: This is the best tool I’ve found for sharing files with clients, team members and colleagues. When I send files back and forth via email, I can never find the most recent version. And I can’t seem to keep them organized. But Dropbox allows you to created shared folders so you can collaborate virtually with anyone you choose. The “drop and drag” functionality makes it easy to use and the folders help you organize files that you share with others – just as you would on your own computer.
2. Evernote: This tool is my go-to resource for capturing all my tasks, lists, random thoughts and fabulous ideas (and the crazy ones, too). Evernote allows you to create lists and notes and put them in folders to organize all the brilliance that comes out of your mind so you don’t lose it. Unlike sticky notes and “to-do” lists, Evernote is a searchable database of all your thoughts – and it syncs between your computer and phone. So you can easily find a note months or years after you create it simply by searching a keyword. Once you get started with Evernote, you’ll quickly discover you can do so much more than capture notes – you’ll learn to forward emails, attach screenshots, scan documents, share notes, import your Kindle highlights and bookmark websites…but start with the basics and see how it works for you. [Read more…]